I thought I would never be a person that would fast. These judgements held me back. The truth is I didn’t know all that much about fasting. So how I could I end up loving fasting?
My first understanding of fasting was through a friend during my teenage years. She practiced Ramadan and since then I didn’t think it would ever be a part of my life.
Nor did I foresee that it would teach me 3 important lessons about life and of course, how we eat.
My journey into fasting ended up being unexpected as I started reading about gut health. I started noticing small health problems like feeling tired a lot and after reading I decided to change how I ate.
Lesson 1: It’s not what you take out, it’s what you put in.
You ever notice that diet programs are centred around telling you what to take out or what’s not allowed. Well, that’s what I did, I removed wheat and dairy from my diet. And because both had been such a significant part of my diet I needed to find a carbohydrate replacement.
I had forgotten about carbs like oats and rice (although I grew up on rice) were available to me. And as I searched for different ways of fulfilling nutrients I noticed so much more food items that were available to me in my normal supermarket and in local shops near my home.
Lesson 2: What we’re taught about food isn’t applicable to everyone’s body.
This seemed hard to digest (no pun intended) but as I continued working on my diet, I unlearned a big belief of mine. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.
Now, it may be for you and others but it wasn’t for me and in fact, it isn’t necessary to consume breakfast when you start your day. If your first meal is at 12PM then that could be breakfast for you.
So many beliefs about food and how to eat are based on someone’s opinion that came from a study. That’s it. That doesn’t make someone the authority, let a lone an expert, on how you should be eating. It serves as information that could help guide us but it’s definitely not the authority on our bodies.
Lesson 3: Scarcity leads to abundance.
This is similar to the less is more concept and I didn’t really get it until I fasted. After not having a traditional breakfast in the morning I noticed I could go for longer periods without eating. And so I decided to incorporate fasting into my life.
After reading about it, I gave it a try and scheduled a 1-day fast. And I was shocked, I made it 2 days. Not only that, I wasn’t as tired as I thought I was going to feel. I wasn’t ready to do a marathon but I was able to do the normal stuff I needed to get done in the day without keeling over.
And although I “removed” a lot of food, I actually gained so much. I gained time and energy. Eating in a simple way saved me time in planning my meal and eating for my body gave me energy.
And today I love fasting. A woman who thought I would never, I did it. Sometimes those judgements are the ones that will grow us the most.
I discuss more about my personal food journey in the podcast episode 20: Love Fasting.